Late April Fishing Report
The fishing is hot all over the nature coast right now, from the inner islands out to 80 feet of water, the fish are just chewing hard. The past few weeks have seen a huge influx of cobia from the shallow rock piles, on out to 40 feet of water. Boats have been seeing many and catching fish up to 60 pounds this past week alone. While your hunting the cobia, be sure to check crab trap buoys for Tripletail. When you see a triple tail, ease your boat with in easy casting range and through a free-lined shrimp 2-4 feet directly in front of it’s nose, letting the current take it right in front of the fish. If you don’t have shrimp, use a DOA shrimp on a light jig head and do the same thing. The Red Grouper action has been very hot the past month, I have limited out every trip, and usually only keep fish over 22 inches (the legal limit is 20) because we get so many big fish out there this time of year. I have been fishing live bottom in 45-65 feet of water, mostly 55 feet though. The key is to use cut mullet or lady fish on 3-4 ounce spro buck tail jigs. You can find these jigs at West Marine or Gander Mountain, be sure to get a few extras because the king fish love them too, and will often bite them off. Rig your spros with 60 pound leader and you will be surprised how many big red grouper you will catch, if you drift the right bottom. If you have any questions about finding the right bottom or how to read your bottom machine, just give me a call and I will try to help you out.
On the inshore side of things, the trout are starting to move out, they are showing up on the deeper 5-8 foot grass flats in growing numbers. The best bait for that type of fishing is lil John’s rigged on ¼ ounce DOA jig heads, or Gulp shrimp on the same jig head. Look for rocky areas and drift around those areas for the bigger trout, doing this, you will often catch grouper, cobia, and Spanish mackerel this time of year. This type of fishing is tons of fun, and provides lots of variety for the table, just be sure to throw the Gag grouper back, at least until they open back up in July. I have been getting lots of red fish on cut mullet and live shrimp over the past few weeks, artificials just have not been doing as good. I look for rocky points where we have some good water flow and free line shrimp and cut mullet over those areas for the best results. Good luck and I hope to see you all out there!